Over a week after Wales’ Firebreak lockdown came to an end, we spoke to local business owners about its impact on their business, as well previous lockdowns and the pandemic as a whole.
Fay Blakeley runs Homemade Wales on High Street in Barry, she says the impact of the pandemic has been massive to her and her business, but that she has adapted to increase her focus on online sales “but it’s nothing like the volume from a physical shop.”
One thing that’s shone through during the pandemic has been the community spirit and Fay says that’s been the same on High Street, with support from traders and customers alike.
“There is a huge feeling of togetherness on the street. We have all been effected and we are looking out for each other and working together to promote the street.”
“The local community have been incredibly supportive & the shop local message has really been taken to heart. As businesses we’ve all worked hard to make our premises COVID safe & our success at doing so is apparent by the number of customers returning to our shops – especially those who are older and potentially more vulnerable.”
“It’s been a busy week in the shop and customers have all said how pleased they are to see us open again. It’s times like these that you realise how loyal & supportive our customers are.”
With the future for small independent businesses uncertain, businesses across the County continue to ask for more support. Fay told Bro Radio:
“Everything is still so uncertain, so planning ahead is almost impossible.”
“I’d personally like to see the government reduce the VAT rate for small businesses in the way they’ve talked about for other sectors. Also to continue the business rates relief scheme for small businesses.”
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has launched a campaign to promote independent businesses and Town Centres across the County, with more information via facebook.com/ValeTownCentres.
The High Street Shopping Quarter promote independent retailers, information and late night shopping events via www.facebook.com/highstreetshoppingquarter